How to Finish College While Raising a Child

For women, getting pregnant and having a child before you finish college can be overwhelming. Many women who find themselves in this position feel it is too hard to be both a parent and a college student. However, it can be done. Once you finish, you will feel like a true superwoman with the ability to conquer the world!


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    Figure out when your due date will fall within your class schedule. This provides a general timeline to follow and may help you organize your schedule, prioritize classes, and prepare yourself mentally. Constructing a mental plan early on may prevent feeling overwhelmed later on.
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    Inform your professors, school counselor(s), and advisor(s) of your pregnancy and your desire to continue your education. Keep their contact information handy stay in touch with them throughout your pregnancy. They can be a tremendous source of support and advice.
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    Research how your specific college handles dropping classes, withdrawals, or scheduling a leave of absence. Even if your due date falls in between semesters or on a school break, due dates can change and it is better to know and understand your options beforehand.
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    Look into the distance learning options. It is possible that you can use alternative locations or online classes. If you are taken out of school due to medical disability, reach out to the aforementioned professors, counselors, and advisors to see if you can make arrangements to complete classes. Many professors offer online instruction or may allow you to take the courses at another location or from home. Find out if this is an option for you.
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    Utilize the drop, withdraw, or leave of absence provisions your college offers. If alternative arrangements cannot be made, and you are not physically able to attend class, complete the drop, withdrawal, or leave forms in a timely way. Be sure to complete all requirements and get all needed approvals and signatures. Failing to take the time to complete this step properly might lead to aggravation when trying to re-enroll for classes and reinstate financial aid.
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    Take an assessment of your circumstances periodically throughout the pregnancy. Determine, especially, if you need to take a break from school as this is sometimes in your best interest. Depression, anxiety, and the sense of being overwhelmed can sneak up you, so remain vigilant and monitor your emotional state carefully. If you doubt your ability to complete the term in a satisfactory way, discuss your current feelings and options with your support network. Work together to decide upon your best course of action and finalize it. Remember that even though graduation is your goal, the pace at which you reach that goal is flexible, and it is better to set a timetable that allows time for yourself and your baby than to get into a situation that is unworkable, such as becoming overwhelmed and depressed.
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    Reach out to the professors, counselors, and advisors once again. Have them help you map out a revised education plan that fits with your current circumstance and emotional state. Make sure this plan includes all the specific classes you need as well as a variety of timelines, and completion dates. Being armed with a variety of options helps you switch gears more easily.
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    Keep track of your progress. This can help motivate you to finish your classes at your college and adjust to the best plan as your life changes.
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    Keep focused on finishing college. Don't lose sight of your goal. It may seem like it will take forever to finish, but if you make consistent progress, you will eventually reach your objective.
    • There may be changes that cause you to adjust your college plan and these changes will likely add more time. When you have big responsibilities, like raising a child, taking college courses can seem like a menial task, especially when compared to the students around you who appear to live carefree, responsibility-free, lives. Don't let this get you down.
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    Take solace in the fact that, eventually you will finish. Just keep going and take as many classes as your circumstances and busy schedule allow. Sometimes that will be five classes; sometimes that will be only one. Whatever your current class load and thinking, persevere. That is the key.
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    Utilize the available resources. Many campuses offer grants, scholarships, online classes, and even free or discounted on-campus daycare. Easing your financial burden can make your life easier and bring you welcome relief.


  • A strong support system is vital. Seek help from others when you don't know or understand how to achieve an end result. Find people who want you to succeed and lean on them for support. If you cannot depend on your family for this support, look to friends, classmates, and college counselors. There are also many online forums with others in similar situations. Exchanging stories and advice can strengthen your resolve, motivate you, and help you to realize that you are not alone in this.

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Categories: College University and Postgraduate | Pregnancy